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postgraduate thesis: Navigating conflict : a study of Christian sexual minorities in Hong Kong

TitleNavigating conflict : a study of Christian sexual minorities in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Hui, H. [許鎬泓]. (2016). Navigating conflict : a study of Christian sexual minorities in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5731101
AbstractThis qualitative study attempts to critically understand the lives of Christian sexual minorities (CSM) in post-colonial Hong Kong. In recent years, local scholars have noted the rise of a Christian-led, mostly evangelical-driven influence on sexual politics that is alarmingly conservative. Yet, few have made the empirical effort to explore the reception of this influence on an everyday level by Christians who identify as sexual minorities. Meanwhile, the existing literature on LGBTQ identities and communities in Hong Kong pays perfunctory attention to the fluid and productive dimensions of religious faith, which can inspire and be reshaped by sexual desires and intimate relationships. With the use of in-depth interviews conducted from November 2013 to September 2014 (n=16), this study aims to fill these gaps by foregrounding the agency of CSM in working through the perceived conflict between their sexuality and faith, while staying alert to new constraints and power relations created in the process. Drawing on four theoretical strands – Foucault’s analysis of power/ knowledge, the concepts of lived religion and reflexive spirituality, discussions on intersectionality popularized in the past decade, as well as emerging critiques of queer and secular fundamentalism – I developed a 3D model to make sense of what I call the CSM conflict, which could be understood as a specific and meaningful form of experience and existence characterized by recognition, negotiation and transformation: Recognition refers to how institutional agents – primarily the church, the school, and the family – conspire to produce a body of heteronormative knowledge that forces CSM to recognize a seeming conflict between their sexuality and the Christian faith. Negotiation refers to the manifold ways CSM cope with this conflict and negotiate their theological beliefs, religious practices, sexual desires and intimate relationships. They demonstrate the dynamic construction of a reflexive, individualized spirituality that is tied with the continued search for a sense of belonging and community. Transformation, finally, refers to how CSM remain faithful and go beyond the conflict to transform it into an empowering, intersectional experience that enables them to productively engage with the secular world (e.g. through policy advocacy, community outreach and political activism), while withstanding persistent prejudice in secular LGBTQ spaces. I conclude that CSM pose a timely challenge to the current trend of queersecular fundamentalism in sexuality studies, which tends to essentialize queerness and categorize human subjects as either “boringly hetero/homonormative” or “interestingly non-normative”. Whereas religion is often disparaged as a normative factor within this simplistic framework, CSM not only reclaim the productive and subversive potential of religious faith, but also help us overturn this binary thinking by showcasing the intersectionality of identity and blurring the boundary between normativity and non-normativity. This study therefore represents an urgent call for a more open-minded ethos towards religion within the circles of LGBTQ studies. It also contributes to the sociology of sexuality and enriches the intellectual tradition of sexual storytelling by highlighting the role of religious faith in the intersectional making of sexual identity.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectChristians - China - Hong Kong
Sexual minorities - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/224668

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHui, Ho-wang-
dc.contributor.author許鎬泓-
dc.date.accessioned2016-04-11T23:15:23Z-
dc.date.available2016-04-11T23:15:23Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationHui, H. [許鎬泓]. (2016). Navigating conflict : a study of Christian sexual minorities in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5731101-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/224668-
dc.description.abstractThis qualitative study attempts to critically understand the lives of Christian sexual minorities (CSM) in post-colonial Hong Kong. In recent years, local scholars have noted the rise of a Christian-led, mostly evangelical-driven influence on sexual politics that is alarmingly conservative. Yet, few have made the empirical effort to explore the reception of this influence on an everyday level by Christians who identify as sexual minorities. Meanwhile, the existing literature on LGBTQ identities and communities in Hong Kong pays perfunctory attention to the fluid and productive dimensions of religious faith, which can inspire and be reshaped by sexual desires and intimate relationships. With the use of in-depth interviews conducted from November 2013 to September 2014 (n=16), this study aims to fill these gaps by foregrounding the agency of CSM in working through the perceived conflict between their sexuality and faith, while staying alert to new constraints and power relations created in the process. Drawing on four theoretical strands – Foucault’s analysis of power/ knowledge, the concepts of lived religion and reflexive spirituality, discussions on intersectionality popularized in the past decade, as well as emerging critiques of queer and secular fundamentalism – I developed a 3D model to make sense of what I call the CSM conflict, which could be understood as a specific and meaningful form of experience and existence characterized by recognition, negotiation and transformation: Recognition refers to how institutional agents – primarily the church, the school, and the family – conspire to produce a body of heteronormative knowledge that forces CSM to recognize a seeming conflict between their sexuality and the Christian faith. Negotiation refers to the manifold ways CSM cope with this conflict and negotiate their theological beliefs, religious practices, sexual desires and intimate relationships. They demonstrate the dynamic construction of a reflexive, individualized spirituality that is tied with the continued search for a sense of belonging and community. Transformation, finally, refers to how CSM remain faithful and go beyond the conflict to transform it into an empowering, intersectional experience that enables them to productively engage with the secular world (e.g. through policy advocacy, community outreach and political activism), while withstanding persistent prejudice in secular LGBTQ spaces. I conclude that CSM pose a timely challenge to the current trend of queersecular fundamentalism in sexuality studies, which tends to essentialize queerness and categorize human subjects as either “boringly hetero/homonormative” or “interestingly non-normative”. Whereas religion is often disparaged as a normative factor within this simplistic framework, CSM not only reclaim the productive and subversive potential of religious faith, but also help us overturn this binary thinking by showcasing the intersectionality of identity and blurring the boundary between normativity and non-normativity. This study therefore represents an urgent call for a more open-minded ethos towards religion within the circles of LGBTQ studies. It also contributes to the sociology of sexuality and enriches the intellectual tradition of sexual storytelling by highlighting the role of religious faith in the intersectional making of sexual identity.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshChristians - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshSexual minorities - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleNavigating conflict : a study of Christian sexual minorities in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5731101-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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